Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designedby Douglas Axe Published 12 Jul 2016
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Throughout his distinguished and unconventional career, engineer-turned-molecular-biologist Douglas Axe has been asking the questions that much of the scientific community would rather silence. Now, he presents his conclusions in this brave and pioneering book. Axe argues that the key to understanding our origin is the “design intuition”—the innate belief held by all humans that tasks we would need knowledge to accomplish can only be accomplished by someone who has that knowledge. For the ingenious task of inventing life, this knower can only be God.
Starting with the hallowed halls of academic science, Axe dismantles the widespread belief that Darwin’s theory of evolution is indisputably true, showing instead that a gaping hole has been at its center from the beginning. He then explains in plain English the science that proves our design intuition scientifically valid. Lastly, he uses everyday experience to empower ordinary people to defend their design intuition, giving them the confidence and courage to explain why it has to be true and the vision to imagine what biology will become when people stand up for this truth.
Armed with that confidence, readers will affirm what once seemed obvious to all of us—that living creatures, from single-celled cyanobacteria to orca whales and human beings, are brilliantly conceived, utterly beyond the reach of accident.
Our intuition was right all along.
"Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed" Reviews
Glorious book, and glorious on multiple levels. Axe writes engagingly, he knows his science up and down, and he blows no sunshine. Really good.
There's a word I tend to over use a lot to describe books and that is..."interesting".
Well, this book is interesting. As Christians (and for that matter most Theists) we tend to spend (in my opinion of course) way too much time debating an argument usually stated as "evolution vs. creation". The problem is (as I'm sure most should realize) that's a false dichotomy. The Bible teaches creation but doesn't go into "how" God chose to create. The creation in Genesis is told in a way so as to be understandable to a hunter gather society, a herder society or (indeed) a modern society. The Bible isn't a scientific text but a book of wisdom, teaching, history but most of all the story of God's plan for us and the provision He has made.
So, this book is very interesting in it's presentation of evidence. I'd say theists and atheists alike might find it...well, interesting.
Douglas Axe is a heretic. He's a molecular biologist who did his doctoral work at Caltech and went on to postdoctoral work at the University of Cambridge. As such, he can't be dismissed as some uneducated Bible thumping Luddite.
Axe is arguing that evolutionary science is closed to any other explanations for the origin and development of life despite the inadequacies of natural selection to explain how life began and how natural selection is able to result in entirely new life forms.
Advocates of Intelligent Design are like the ugly step child. On the one hand the pro-evolution community dismisses them as creationists. On the other hand there are many people that believe the Bible says the earth is 6,000 years old, so that is good enough for them. They don't like ID'ers either because they seem to reject the correctness of the literal Bible. Axe can expect poor reviews from both these camps, but for those who are not already set in their beliefs, the book is a great read.
Axe's main theme is that when something appears to be designed, it is likely to be designed. He gives examples of how we can view small segments of written pages vs jumbled letters or photos vs jumbled pixels and from these small segments it is easy to see which is designed and which is not. Because life at the basic building blocks level also displays elements of design, it follows that a designer is involved.
Axe's position is that the biological sciences community is adamant to defend Darwinism even when advances in science prove Darwin to be more wrong than ever. He points out that others who make the same criticism of Darwinism as he does are still welcome in the church of evolution because they propose new ideas that also build on undirected evolution.
Critics of Axe are upset because he openly professes to be a believer in the Christian God. As if that were a bad thing. I guess it is a bad thing, at least if you are an evangelizing atheist with a mission to tear down religion and replace it with Godless science. Axe even gives an example of a scientist who used the "G" word in an article and the publication received complaints and had to withdraw its approval, even though there was no criticism of the contents of the article itself.
Axe's belief system should not discredit his science. A scientist who wants to cure cancer would not be criticized for his position or have his views questioned. Axe should be given the same level of recognition.
Critics of ID are fond of saying that it is not science because it doesn't get published in peer reviewed papers. This can largely be explained by the wall put up by the defenders of Darwiniac dogma. Nobody is allowed to criticize the establishment viewpoint. It would be easier to believe that the New York Times would hire Rush Limbaugh as their editor. Don't expect that to happen.
In the meantime, readers can consider Axe's well argued pro-design book and come away with a logical understanding of why design is a more likely explanation for our existence than the blind chance that evolution is build on.
I recognize that I have higher than normal interest in this subject. As a student of history, I see the rise of acceptance of evolution has coincided with a lowering of cultural standards. After all if evolution proves that there is no God and no scriptural right and wrong then you are excused to create your own morals, or lack of them. I wrote my play Inherit the Wind Overturned by Design back in 2009 as a vehicle to contrast the positions of ID and evolution in an entertaining format so people can consider the argument for the ID position. Those interested in the ID subject should enjoy the contrast to the popular 1950's era play it satires.
Quotes I liked from the book:
Evolution seems to be an inadequate replacement for knowledge. Indeed, if our design intuition holds true, nothing is an adequate replacement for knowledge.
Dan Tawfik hit the nail on the head: Nothing evolves unless it already exists. (p 97)
With respect to the invention of living things, then, a commitment to materialism is a commitment to accidental explanation, and a commitment to accidental explanation is a commitment to coincidence, and a commitment to coincidence is a commitment to the power of repetition. (p 103)
Blind causes are so fundamentally unlike insight that any instance of them looking insightful would be coincidental. Coincidences do happen, of course, but we know from experience that major ones are much more rare and therefore more surprising than minor ones. (p 152)
The implications for invention are clear. If the invention of a working X is a whole project requiring extensive new functional coherence, then the invention of X by accidents of any kind is physically impossible. Why? Because for accidental causes to match insight on this scale would be a fantastically improbable coincidence and our universe simply can't deliver fantastically improbable coincidences. (153)
Natural selection happens only after cells are arranged in ways that work to keep the organism alive, so selection can hardly be the cause of these remarkable arrangements. Darwin's simplistic explanation has failed, and the millions who have followed him have nothing but his outdated assumption to stand on. (192)
Dutch botanist Hugo De Vries "Natural selection may explain the survival of the fittest, but it cannot explain the arrival of the fittest." (220)
The book deals much more with "common science' than with Biology; this is exactly what disappointed me. To refute an established idea of Biology, it is better to come up with Biology, and lots of Biology.
I do admire writer's effort to express his idea, but the book contains so many repetitions of the same thing, which at some points may become boring. Also, there are times when writer gave unnecessary details which took the reader's mind out of context.
I learnt a few new things though, but it didn't enjoy the book that much.
Axe ably dismantles the "don't believe your lying eyes" arguments of neo-Darwinists. Using unassailable mathematics and logic, as well his own groundbreaking discoveries in microbiology and evolutionary statistics, he will silence all but the ideological and sometimes dishonest Darwinists who show themselves to be the real enemies of science. Read it! A very important book. Like riding the crest of a wave sweeping away a disproven, bankrupt paradigm that has dominated and numbed minds for a century.
There was a time when evolutionary theory really caused me to doubt and struggle. I even sought common Biblical compromises to make room for it. Over the past few years I have been increasingly hearing the whispers that Darwin’s theory was struggling. The “hole,” that Axe describes continued to make it through the closing of the materialist academic ranks.
Axe comes right out and smashes natural selection with a hammer. The math is all wrong. And the more we discover about our world and the life in it, the more the numbers flow in the wrong direction... astronomically. The amount of insane mathematics needed for evolution to produce even one invention are amazingly bad. So bad, that anyone, scientist or not, would see the incredible folly in believing in it.
So why don’t we give up on Darwin? Axe does a great job of showing the philosophical and theological consequences that are at stake. We by nature don’t want God to exist because we hate God’s law. We will do whatever it takes to keep that law from being imposed on us. We’ll even compromise science for our anti-god theological convictions. Yet God’s creation won’t hold the lie for us. It must declare his glory no matter how much we plug our ears.